DMR helps Hattiesburg victims and volunteers

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Houses demolished, buildings left in ruins and debris everywhere. It is a scene all too familiar for people of the Gulf Coast. That is one reason Joe Jewell with the Department of Marine Resources said the department is stepping up to help.

"We certainly empathize and sympathize with the citizens of Hattiesburg, they are a sister city to us, they are here in South Mississippi," Jewell said. "We certainly understand what they are going through. It's a terrible thing that has happened to them."

The DMR set up a collection for victims.

"Individuals are donating to the relief fund, as well as the agencies are contributing. Here in the Bolton Building there are several state agencies, so we have had the bins out in the hallways, so everybody is able to participate in this drive," Jewell said.

Rusty Pittman and seven other employees will be heading to Hattiesburg on Saturday to distribute the items. He said they will also be bringing something local business donated for the relief workers and first responders.

"We are taking up 150 pounds of shrimp. We are also taking up 200 pounds of fish and gallons of oysters," Pittman said.

He said Katrina showed all of South Mississippi how vital volunteers and first responders are to recovery.

"We had a lot of help that came to help us here with relief workers and first responders, a lot were from the Hattiesburg, Forrest County area. So we decided we could do something to help them out this would be one way to repay them," Pittman said.

"We want to reach out as a community and tell them we appreciate what they have done for us and we want to give back," Jewell said.

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